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Truck Drivers

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by DLReed, May 25, 2020.

  1. DLReed

    DLReed Tele-Meister

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    Are there any current or former truck drivers here? I have long considered obtaining a CDL. What do you think the future of truck driving is? How did you obtain your CDL - A driving school or on your own?
     
  2. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I think @Toto'sDad was a trucker for a time. Few other guys too.
     
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  3. don71

    don71 Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't have a cdl but I know some who do. Our local community college has classes that are pretty much all classroom. Not much on behind the seat training but safety checks of the equipment, decoupling and hooking up and backing up in a private lot. Nothing on the public roadway. That comes after you pass the actual cdl qualifications.
     
  4. medownsouth

    medownsouth Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    I drove for several years before landing my current gig. I liked it. I liked it alot, I got to see the country :) But it is an unforgiving lifestyle if you have a family. To make $$ you gotta be rolling. The more you run, the deeper you'll get into a nomadic, isolationist lifestyle. I didn't mind it. I went to a driving school in Springfield, IL to get my CDL, cost $2500.
     
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  5. Johnkir64

    Johnkir64 TDPRI Member

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    I am been driving for 20+ years. It’s an ok job if you get with the right company. Just keep in mind it’s a demanding lifestyle. It will take a toll on relationships. It supported two wives, and put a daughter through college. So I guess it’s ok.
     
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  6. PlainAllman

    PlainAllman Tele-Afflicted

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    I honestly don’t think you can go wrong getting a CDL. It’s definitely a growing job market and will likely always be. I have had a CDL for 20 years now and have never been out of work the entire time. I got mine from on the job training. I started out as firefighter riding in the backseat and then learned to drive and got a class B and became the engine operator. Later I left that life behind and began working in the construction industry and got a class A. Now I’m mainly an equipment operator but I also haul my own equipment. I could quit my job today and find another job tomorrow even with the current “circumstances”. I didn’t go to truck school but have known many drivers who did. It’s one option if you have the time and funds to pursue it. There are however companies out there that will hire you and pay you and train you to drive at the same time. If you got the desire go for it.
     
  7. koen

    koen Friend of Leo's

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  8. Gardo

    Gardo Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I got a CDL just by asking for it. The state was going to the new license system and was unable to retest everyone so they just asked what classification I should have. Of course I said 3 and got it . Years later they scheduled me for a retest if I could not verify sufficient experience so I dropped it. Also the cost went up.
    It was fun while it lasted. I did drive some busses but not enough to meet the requirements
     
  9. imwjl

    imwjl Poster Extraordinaire

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    I was a truck driver but that was long ago. Mostly regional but for a while hauling specialty stuff on a drop deck and a mobile art gallery. Friends and acquaintances still do it. An acquaintance is a manager/exec for one of the nation's big carriers.

    For me it happened sort of organically. I grew up around machines and trucks. It paid better than other jobs when I was in college. It paid the bills when I dropped out and went back to finish.

    At some point robots will change it. It can be hard to stay healthy if you're not out of the truck often and eating well. It had rotten and fun moments. I like machines so I liked my Kenworth and securing loads with chains, blocks and tarps. I liked climbing mountain passes but mountain and hilly driving could be scary too.

    Think like any job where if you do it, go for a niche where you're more secure, or where your own abilities can give you an edge. Think about areas in the economy that generally remain strong. For example, food related work.
     
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  10. DLReed

    DLReed Tele-Meister

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    I'm not married, although I have a long-term girlfriend, and I don't have any kids. Being away would be an adjustment but there are a few regional companies in my area. I have been a delivery driver for a library system which covers a large rural area for the past 12 years and I've been thinking about a change. I love being on the road but don't have any experience in big rigs. My Grandfather actually owned a trucking business before I was born and my Father and Uncles all drove, unfortunately the trade hasn't passed down to the next generation. Maybe I just like the romantic notion that it's "in my blood".
     
  11. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    "This is a highly disruptive technology, on the order of ten million people, and displacing rapidly that many people would have a dramatic societal impact"
     
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  12. tery

    tery Doctor of Teleocity

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    There are several companies that run their own CDL training program . They will pay you while you attend their school and then place you with a driver trainer for several weeks . If you graduate that company will hire you as a driver .
    DO NOT pay some private driving school $4,000 to $7,000 bucks plus their finance charges .
    At the end of that school not only will you owe them money - you still will not have a job -
    and some companies may not even recognize their training .
     
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  13. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Like a lot of the old timers in trucking, I managed to get my license without going to a truck driving school. To tell the truth, going to a school or working some kind of apprenticeship arrangement would be a good idea. The days of just going out and trucking are probably long gone. There's adventure and excitement out there for sure, and money to be made, but it ain't easy, EVER. The two upper pics are me, that bottom one is the truck of a trucker who was awfully lucky to have heard the chains snap and bailed. Witnesses said the dozer was almost touching the cab when he came shooting out of the truck.

    upload_2020-5-25_16-23-12.png
     
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  14. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    Just like I wouldn't recommend a person go in "fresh" to neon glassblowing (a trade I did for twenty years) I wouldn't suggest going into OTR driving now, either. Self-driving trucks won't be viable tomorrow, or next year, or maybe for who knows how long.....but they WILL take over at some point. There may always be a market for "some" drivers, but there will also be a lot of people competing for those jobs.
    What is it about having a CDL that appeals to you?
     
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  15. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    By the way, the guy who owned the truck looked it all over, figured the cost of lifting the dozer off of what was left of the truck, and said, just drive it off, nothing let to salvage anyway. The dozer was a Komatsu 155, and weighed a hundred and one thousand pounds.
     
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  16. Torren61

    Torren61 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    I have a Class A CDL but not for driving long haul trucks. I have it for driving large bucket trucks and digger trucks and pretty much everything I want that requires a Class A CDL. I think the future of long haul truck driving is arriving at the end of its long and illustrious history. AI will be doing that job and many truckers will need to retire or retrain. My job will be safe for awhile still but if you're thinking of starting a new career, ask yourself "Could an AI/robot do this job ten years from now?". That's my humble opinion.
     
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  17. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Things may have changed, but I doubt it. I've been first on the board, and I've been last. When you change jobs, most likely you end up being an EXTRA driver on the board, it's kind of about the same as being an EXTRA anus. You can work your way up, but you'd better be tough. No one will ever hold your hand in the trucking business, any respect you get, you'll earn.
     
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  18. Stubee

    Stubee Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    Now that is some heavy equipment! My neighbor up in NW Ontario is an inveterate buyer of all types of equipment, and he’s got a big JD excavator he’s helped me out with plus various skidders, tractors and trucks, some usually running! I asked him one night about moving his excavator by truck and he laughed and told me it weighed north of 75,000 pounds. So he drives the beast here and there throughout the townships.
     
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  19. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    A music buddy retired from a career of driving some years back. He worked his way from an owner-operator to running a small trucking company. He's an awesome guy, does a lot of volunteer work, raised his kids, sent at least one to school, etc. So it provided him a good career, and he maintained his sanity. I keep a CB in my jeep, and listen/interact with drivers when there's some traffic issue. I hear a little bit of bitterness sometimes, and can tell somebody is in a bind and stressed. But no occupation is without conflict and struggle.
     
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  20. John Backlund

    John Backlund Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

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    I went to a local, six-week, 'Vo-Tech' commercial driving school in the summer of 2004, and was hired before graduation by MCT out of Sioux Falls, SD as a 48 state semi-driver. I only drove for them for about three months, hating most of it, then was hired by a local small flatbed carrier for midwest regional flatbed driving, did that for another six months before deciding that OVR semi driving just wasn't for me.

    At times though, it was the best job on the planet, but that was balanced out by the times it was the worst job on the planet, and on my last trip, to CA, I phoned my wife and told her that I had finally found a job that could truly kill me, by frustration alone.

    I unloaded at my destination, drove my truck back to Sioux Falls and left it there. I never went back to semi driving.

    However!!! I still hold my Class A CDL, and have a current medical certificate.

    For the past six years, I've been driving motor coaches (tour busses), mostly locally, running senior citizens up to the Deadwood casinos on weekly gambling junkets, actually several times per week, though that sort of thing has completely died because of 'you-know-what', and I haven't driven now for almost three months, with no indication when it might start up again. There's some chance that my job driving the busses will NOT be starting up again, and I may be through with it. Time will tell.

    If I was younger, say, in my mid-twenties, I might make OTR semi driving a career, but not at my age now.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2020
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